Time to Check In
Soon after I began blogging, I wrote a post called Inner Simplicity: Where to Begin. I made three lists and shared several items from each of my lists with you.
Since it’s been a few months, I thought it would be a good time to think – and blog – about my happiness goal progress.
I won’t go over the “Things That Make Me Happy List.” I’ve done a good job of continuing to appreciate those things as well as trying to fit more of them into my life, and I don’t really have anything to say that wouldn’t be a boring rehash.
Things I Think Would Make Me Happier
We’re not in a position to do this now, with work, school, etc., but my husband and I are planning ways to travel inexpensively once the kids are all grown and we’ve retired. We’ve also been getting out more on the weekends, with day trips to the coast, mountains, etc.
One great thing about where we live in Oregon is that we’re only about an hour and a half from the Cascade Mountains and about an hour and a half the other direction to the Pacific Ocean. Also, we can be in the desert in only about 3 hours.
A cleaner house.
As I’ve mentioned before,
we’re lazy we’ve prioritized happiness over cleanliness. However, as we continue to declutter, flat surfaces, being empty (or at least emptier) are easier to clean. We’ve even been able to get rid of some furniture – less to dust.
I’ve also been working hard to pay attention to what’s in front of me and deal with it immediately. It’s a lot easier to put away one or two things now than to clean up a big mess later.
Time to spend at least a few hours a week with friends.
I’ve been really good about spending time with friends nearly every week.
Obviously a long-term goal. Planning in the works, largely by simplifying our lives and being frugal.
Being more active in the community (volunteering and church).
My husband and I have both begun volunteering regularly, and we’re signing up for some classes at church.
I’ve also joined our church’s prayer shawl ministry. It doesn’t get much better than combining a favorite hobby (knitting) with helping others.
A spinning wheel.
I’ve rethought this one. I don’t plan to get one any time in the near future after all. I have plenty of fun activities to do that either don’t require any stuff at all or that use stuff I already have.
Living somewhere with less rain and more sun in the winter.
We’re thinking of moving to the Hood River, Oregon, area when we retire, so we’ve been spending a lot of time there on weekends, checking it out. It’s sunnier – and snowier – than the Portland area.
Living on large acreage in the middle of nowhere.
Realistically, this isn’t going happen because we also want to live near emergency services and a grocery store. The Hood River area, however, is rural while still being near some services, and not too far from the Portland metropolitan area.
Living in an urban area so I can walk everywhere.
We’ve decided to downsize to a smaller home pre-retirement, in the next 1-2 years. We’re going to make this one in a more urban area, perhaps a townhouse.
An extra hour of sleep on weekday mornings.
I’m trying to go to bed a little earlier instead. That works better with the school/work schedule than trying to sleep later.
Things I Don’t Like and Don’t Want
I haven’t worried too much about money. The only thing I had trouble not worrying about are our ridiculously high veterinary expenses this summer. The regular check-ups and shots for all 4 pets were in the budget, but between all the emergency vet costs for our poodle who died in June, plus dental work for the pug, it’s been an expensive summer.
Unloading the dishwasher.
In addition to hand washing more, I’ve also been having my son unload it regularly. Since my husband already regularly unloads it, I don’t have to do it very often.
Being stuck inside on a beautiful day.
I’ve done a pretty job of doing chores outside on the deck when I can.
My mind racing when I’m trying to sleep.
The life-simplifying process has made this a much less frequent occurrence. Also, I try to design our future small house in my mind as I’m falling asleep. It’s just complicated enough to block out other thoughts, but not so exciting or emotionally laden as to keep me awake.
Being responsible for making breakfast for the family almost every day.
No one has taken over this chore, but I’ve been starting the night before. I setting out the juice glasses, the plates or bowls, the utensils, the skillet if I’m going to scramble eggs….Takes a lot of the stress off even though it can’t save more than about a minute’s time in the morning.
When people don’t appreciate what I do for them.
Definitely a mindset issue here. I’m still working on becoming more patient and understanding.
Blind corner cabinets in the kitchen.
Still working on this one, too. Until we move, we’re stuck with them, and they’re so ridiculously blind they aren’t even conducive to lazy Susan or other gadgets. We just have to declutter enough that the dark recesses can be kept empty.
We recently got rid of several more items from the kitchen, but we’re not there yet.
All 3 dogs and the cat following me into the bathroom.
For a sad reason – one dog died – we’re down to 2 dogs and the cat following me into the bathroom. This makes it easier to appreciate the loveable creatures we still have and to laugh about them apparently believing I need help using the facilities.
Carrying groceries up the stairs.
I’ve assigned my 13-year old son to do this for me as one of his chores.
The kid is still 13, and I’m still impatient. I wonder which one of us will outgrow/overcome our problem first.
Your Happiness Goal Progress
How are you doing at meeting your goals to simplify your life and make yourself happier? Please share in the comments.